Westerners put an end to NMMI’s postseason hopes with 75-65 victory in play-in game
NMMI Sports Press
The New Mexico Military Institute Colt baseball team lost a close contest against East Mountain, dropping their district opener at home, 5-4.
East Mountain got on the scoreboard first, plating a trio of runs in the top of the third off NMMI starting pitcher Andres Bleizeffer. Only two of those were earned, with ‘Blaze’ throwing three complete while giving up six hits against four strikeouts.
Timberwolf pitcher Dominik Chavez sat down the first ten Colt batters without giving up a hit, but NMMI got back one of those runs in the bottom half of the third thanks to a walk, two hit batters and an RBI fielder’s choice by Jasper Best.
Neither team managed to plate a run in the fourth, but NMMI’s Rilan Maloney finally broke the offensive ice for the Colts with a 1-out single up the middle.
After serving up the scoreless fourth, Colt reliever Alejandro Lopez gave up a single spot in the top of the fifth, scattering four hits, all singles.
Now down by three, 4-1, NMMI made it a brand-new ballgame before the end of the stanza. Bleizeffer led off with a walk, Lopez flew out to center, and Jasper Best hit an opposite-field double to right. Luke Taylor then launched a triple over the centerfielder’s head, scoring two. Martin Ayon brought Taylor home for the tying run with a single into shallow left.
In the top of the sixth, T’Wolf pitcher Chavez collected his third base-hit of the night – a triple down the leftfield line which plated teammate Logan Harlan, who had led off with a looping single up the middle.
Chavez then retired the Institute side, in order, in the bottom of the sixth, and threatened to do the same in the bottom of the seventh. He sat down the four and five-spot hitters for NMMI, but Gunnar Schwab kept the Institute’s hopes alive with a two-out single into center. After stealing second, he had the Colts’ tying run in scoring position. This time, however, Ayon wasn’t able to knock the run needed to knot the score – he hit chopper back to the mound which Chavez fielded and threw to first base for the final out.
“it was a hard-fought game for both teams. It was a great battle between their pitcher Dominik Chavez and our pitcher Alex Lopez,” said head Colt coach Charlie Ward. “We had opportunities throughout the game, including early with a failed bunt attempt, but that’s baseball. I told our kids that district is going to be like this – every game is going to be tight and we’re going to have to execute on both offense and defense if we want to win.”
Lopez was tagged for the loss for the Colts. He went the final four innings on the mound, giving up nine hits and two runs while allowing no walks and striking out three.
Schwab was the only NMMI batter with multiple hits in a 2-for-4 performance at the plate.
With the loss, the Colts fall to 10-3 overall and 0-1 in district. They’ll hit the road early on Saturday to continue Class 3A, District 4/5 competition, taking on Sandia Prep in a single game at 11:00 AM on April 6.